The Reach of Realism at the MOCA

gillian wearing signs that say what you want them to say and not signs that say what someone else wants you to say 1992 1993 The Reach of Realism at the MOCA

Currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, The Reach of Realism brings together an international group of artists exploring the artistic traditions of Realism in an age of digital manipulation and staged reality. The exhibition features works by Uta Barth, Olaf Breuning, Tom Burr, Talia Chetrit, Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova, Phil Collins, Thomas Demand, Alex Hubbard, Matt Keegan, Ragnar Kjartansson, Elad Lassry, Lars Laumann, Adam McEwen, Wilhelm Sasnal, Xaviera Simmons, Martin Soto Climent, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sara VanDerBeek, Emily Wardill, Gillian Wearing, Judi Werthein, and Artur Zmijewski. The Reach of Realism is curated by MOCA Associate Curator Ruba Katrib.

ragnar kjartansson god 2007 video still The Reach of Realism at the MOCA

The contemporary artists in The Reach of Realism use various strategies to address the increasing fusion between daily life and popular media. From 19th century painters who depicted everyday life during the industrial revolution, to the 1980s “pictures generation” of artists who criticized the media’s growing influence on society, artists have used realism as a political strategy. Today, it is widely understood that while images are effective in communicating ideas, they have lost some impact in communicating truths because of increased manipulation and outright fabrication. The artists in the exhibition convey the desire for authenticity in images while distrusting the ability of images to communicate an objective reality. By choosing to obstruct straightforward depictions and instead reveal poetic truths, these artists question whether the images they produce and the realities they portray can be meaningful. In creating semblances of reality, the artists are more interested in the inclusion of a detail or moment in a work that contains the potential for realism and not realism itself.

Images and text provided by the MOCA

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